In preparation for the G20 Summit to be held in Hamburg, Germany in July this year, and as part of Germany’s Presidency of the group, the German Government convened the G20 Conference last week dubbed “ONE World No Hunger. Future of the Rural World”.
Key among the meeting’s highlights was the presentation of the Berlin Charter. An initiative of the German Government, the Charter calls on the G20 governments to commit to significant, quantified and time- bound targets in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It seeks to create opportunities for the young generation in the rural world.
The Charter was developed through a consultative process with the young people and drafted by an advisory committee composed of experts on rural development, civil society, and the private sector. Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President AGRA, was a member of the advisory committee and she led the handover of the Charter to Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany.
It maps out a model for rural development that seeks to enhance the productivity and sustainability agri-food sector in rural areas as vital drivers of long-term jobs and income. It specifically calls on the G20 governments to:
- Lift at least 600 million people out of hunger and undernutrition by 2025 with appropriate agricultural, nutrition and anti-poverty policies.
- Take concerted political and humanitarian actions to immediately end the food crises situations in East Africa, the Horn of Africa and other locations of acute suffering; support agriculture actions that address droughts and climate change and the agenda of the African Malabo declaration on agriculture.
- Facilitate access to education and youth training for all by 2025 by increased investments in rural education, including vocational training for young entrepreneurs;
- Cut youth underemployment at least by half by 2025 through increased sup- port of investment in rural infrastructure and services in rural areas combined with job creating active labour market policies at a large scale;
- Provide equitable and affordable access for all, especially youth in rural areas, to information and communication technologies (ICTs) and provide opportunity for peer to peer learning.
Close to 150 young people from Africa and G20 countries were at the Berlin Conference with a resounding message that they know what they want; empowerment and participation, innovation, access to finance, effective connections between rural and urban areas, access to markets and capacity building.
The Charter will be presented to the G20 Summit for implementation.